DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - The home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is getting a new name.
Earlier named The Max M. Fisher Music Center, the facility on Woodward Avenue will now be known as The Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. The building's new sign will be unveiled during a ceremony Thursday evening.
"The DSO is a beacon of hope and renewal for our entire community," Marjorie Fisher said in a statement. "I feel privileged to continue our family's tradition of supporting the exceptionally talented musicians and dedicated staff alongside so many wonderful donors throughout our region to ensure the legacy of this outstanding organization continues for generations to come."
The name change comes as $15 million in new and recent gifts is announced from the Fisher family.
"Mrs. Fisher has dedicated her generosity to nurturing the DSO's soul: our wide-ranging programs, tours, concerts, and education initiatives," Anne Parsons, orchestra president and CEO, said in a statement. "Her support of the talented men and women of the DSO has enabled our musicians to make a difference in our community."
In all, the Fisher family's giving for programming, endowment and capital needs has reached $25 million. Family members also provide annual operating support.
The late businessman and philanthropist Max Fisher provided the lead $10 million bequest to expand the impact of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with an office building and Orchestra Hall addition that opened in 2003.
Since Fisher's 2005 death, his wife, Majorie, has continued supporting the DSO.
"Whenever we walk into our performing facility, all of us are reminded of how fortunate we are to be able to make music in such a miraculous space," said Music Director Leonard Slatkin. "By adding Marjorie's name, we now have a number of musicians who, like myself, have spent time with this remarkable woman. All of us are honored to perform in the building which now bears her name."
About Marjorie S. Fisher
From their first date at the London Chop House in Detroit, Marjorie and Max were partners in life, love, family and philanthropy. Married for 52 years, Marjorie was a quiet partner in the family's giving. She would often encourage Max in critical moments of decision saying "We have to give more."
Born November 5, 1923 in Louisville, Kentucky, Marjorie Switow Fisher has spent her life nurturing her family and teaching the growing generations, in her words, "You are here for a reason: to help other people. Everything in life is based on love and what you can do to help others. The rest is just cream - sometimes sour cream - but it's all cream."
After Max's death in 2005 and the creation of the permanent endowment to fuel the Foundation, Marjorie assumed the role of Founding Chair. For nearly six years she led quietly while her five children crafted the organization's values, vision, mission and initial grant partnerships. During her tenure as Chair, the Foundation committed more than $70 million in grants with nearly 50 partners on three continents and became recognized within the philanthropic sector as an effective family foundation with heart.
Her belief in the next generation of the family led her to host the first ever Fisher family philanthropy retreat in 2010. Since then, all four generations of the family work together with grant partners to advance their shared mission.
Throughout her leadership of the Foundation, Marjorie infused the organization with her core belief in the importance of working together steadfastly committed to the mission while remaining flexible to allow for new insights and ideas to rise.
In 2011 Marjorie transitioned from the Founding Chair role to allow leadership to transfer to the next generation. Today, Marjorie continues to be an active member of the Board while advancing her own philanthropic giving efforts, enjoying the company of close friends and loving her newest great grandchildren.
"All giving starts with your heart," she said.
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